February 13th, 2013
04:30 PM ET
9 years ago

Rand Paul to place hold on Brennan nomination

Washington (CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul, one of the most outspoken critics of President Barack Obama's use of drones to target terrorists overseas, vowed Wednesday to hold up the nomination of one of the program's chief architects.

John Brennan, Obama's top counterterrorism adviser, is under consideration by the Senate to become the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The president nominated him to the post last month.

In a statement, Paul - a Republican from Kentucky - wrote that he still has questions for Brennan surrounding the drone program.

"I have asked Mr. Brennan if he believed that the President has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and my question remains unanswered," Paul wrote. "I will not allow a vote on this nomination until Mr. Brennan openly responds to the questions and concerns my colleagues and I share."

Paul, along with some fellow Republicans and Democrats, have called into question the legality of targeting Americans abroad who are suspected of being terrorists. Such a situation arose in 2011, when an American drone was used to kill New Mexico-born Anwar al-Awlaki - who officials said played an operational role in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

On Sunday, Paul said on CNN's "State of the Union" the current system vested too much power in the president, and that measures were needed to ensure that power doesn't go unchecked.

"It's very unseemly that a politician gets to decide the death of an American citizen," Paul said. "There needs to be a trial for treason. The president, or a politician, Republican or Democrat, should never get to decide someone's death by flipping through flash cards."

Paul, who is considered a potential candidate for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, delivered the tea party response to Tuesday night's State of the Union address. He used similar language during those remarks to denounce the use of drones to kill Americans.

Filed under: John Brennan • Rand Paul
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Next up...

    GOP: "Have you stopped beating your wife?....That's it...we're putting a hold on your nomination until you answer yes or no."

    That's precisely what this question from the Randroid is....designed to answer itself. Solely by virtue of asking it, he has now created a small pocket of fearful, angry, revolution fetish conspiracy junkies who now are 100% irredeemably convinced that Obama intends to start using drones state-side against all opposition. Watch how quickly it spreads through the radicalized right wing conspiracy sites on the intertubes.

    February 13, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  2. Pander Bear

    More time wasting obstructionism from the GOTea. And if there's a terrorist attack, they'll be sure to blame Obama for not having a CIA Director in place.

    February 13, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  3. Willie K.

    Rant Paul done fired Hillary Clinton and now he is going after the CIA. Who's next? The pope? The Aqua Buddha? Rush Limbaugh? How high will it go before The Chosen One stops this reign of terror?

    February 13, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. Bill from GA

    "measures were needed to ensure that power doesn't go unchecked."

    Measures are needed to ensure that the power of any ONE senator doesn't go unchecked!

    February 13, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  5. Brett

    Do it up, Rand. Glad to see people finally care about the drone program. The combination of the Patriot Act and the NDAA allow the President to unilaterally decide which Americans to kill or detain without warrant or trial; does that honestly not disturb people in the slightest? Or do those qualms disappear when there is a "D" or an "R" next to someone's name?

    February 13, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. sonny chapman

    This guy looooves attention.

    February 13, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. freedom

    He's absolutely correct. Obama and his admin. are pushing the boundaries way too far – on everything. The president is forcing these obstacles to happen, and then blaming the oppostion for them. He either wants total division in this country, or he's delusional on the limitations of the power of the presidency.

    February 13, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. Name VA865

    Who cares what this yellow belly buffoon has to say? ??? Come 2014... he'll be out of office. I'm so tired of these
    Teabaggers acting like this country belongs to them. ...

    February 13, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  9. Ken in MD

    One more case showing how the Senate is broken. One senator with something to prove can hold up a nomination vote? Further proof that this guy is a wing-nut idiot.

    February 13, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  10. mike0404

    I thought Joe McCarthy was dead. Maybe they could put a hold on all Federal aid to Kentucky and see who gives in first.

    February 13, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    Not to be outdone by the Thirsty Token, Randroid has decided to destroy his chances of ever being POTUS this week too. Story at 11.

    February 13, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    The Birthers Version 2.0. Thats what we have here, folks. Oh Freedom, where were you when Bush put the Patriot Act into place? Cheering? If it were Romnoid runnign the show, you would be all for it.

    February 13, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  13. Kate

    Rove would do better in wasting his donors' $$$ by putting a muzzle on WACKOS Rand and Ted Cruz. Even nasty McCain thinks Cruz is trouble.

    February 13, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  14. Martha in CF

    Rand Paul is an obstructionist-just like his other redumblican cronies!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 13, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    What's the matter Rand? No one is talking about your rebuttal las night? Is that it? Feeling left out and irrelevant so you're resorting to McCain tactics?
    Pitiful bunch these Teatards.

    February 13, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    Not to be outdone by the Thirsty Token,

    February 13, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  17. Doc1

    What difference does it make where they are born. A terrorist is a terrorist. Drone as many as we can.

    February 13, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  18. AZ Girl

    He asked if he thought that the President had the power to authorize lethal force on a US citizen on US soil. He asked this to nominee for the Director position of the CIA? Correct me if I am wrong but, the CIA isn't allowed to operate on US soil, are they? If not, why is this question such a big deal? Shouldn't he be asking this if he was the nominee for Director of the FBI? That would make more sense. Oh wait, he's in Congress... nevermind about making sense.

    February 13, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  19. 2012liberal

    Then when another attack happens they can blame obama 4 no director. No funding 4 bengazi the doing of congress and blame obama. Blah blah blah. Start looking n mirror!

    February 13, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  20. Evergreen

    The GOP soft on defense...didn't see that coming. He should remember the slogan from Bush and the GOP about giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

    February 13, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  21. Larry L

    Funny how he's asking a question about a scenario nobody has actually even remotely suggested. When we have authority to easily send a SWAT team into any location on U.S. territory why would we send in a drone? If a U.S. citizen is confirmed as a member of an anti-U.S. terror cell wouldn't that revoke his right to protection?

    Based on the performance of the Tea Party portion of Congress what would ever make the President call upon them for a decision in a matter requiring an an adult decision? When they seem determined to destroy our federal government why would we give them information to help them achieve that goal? They absolutely can't be trusted.

    February 13, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  22. SC

    mr.teaparty will be gone comes 2014 election. I can't wait.

    February 13, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  23. LongtimeDem

    Hell hath frozen! I agree absolutely with Paul No president should have the power that Obama has. Not this one or the next one or the next one no matter their party. Brennan is also a creepy weasel, but I digress.

    February 13, 2013 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  24. Fire the GOP

    LOL. I came here to bash on Rand to see what idiotic excuse he has this time. But surprisingly I find that he raised a valid point.

    February 13, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  25. Roger the Lib

    Agree 100% with Doc 1. If and when you join the enemy you commit treason against the United States. We are at war with Al Qaeda not a country. If you are a member, no matter where you were born you will be killed. If the President was not doing this the GOP/Teapugs would be saying he was weak on terro.r

    February 13, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
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